with Tiffany Abercrombie
Director of Mokara Salon and
Spa in Dallas, Texas
How would you define the concept of your spa?
The goal of Mokara is to create a sanctuary that gives guests a reason to return. We value every relationship. We provide attentive service in a relaxing, yet refined atmosphere. Our brand personality is intimate, fine-tuned, inviting, restorative, timeless and sophisticated.
What are your most popular treatments?
Our most popular spa treatments are the Mokara Aromatherapy Massage, the Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial, the Peppermint Energizing Pedicure and the Special Occasion Hair Design.
How many treatment rooms and other amenities do you have?
Our spa and salon is located adjacent to the hotel. We have seven treatment rooms, including a wet room and couples retreat. We also pride ourselves on being a full service salon with 10 salon chairs. Our water amenities such as the Jacuzzi and sauna are located on the canal level of the hotel in our Fitness Center.
What daily challenges do you face in your spa manager position?
One of my biggest daily challenges is to continuously balance the needs of my clients as well as the needs of my associates. On top of that, I also have to sustain my daily operational responsibilities as the spa owner. Synergy is very important!
How do you manage stress that works brings into your life?
Making sure that I have “me” time incorporated into my weekly routine is a must. I love to work out and spend time with friends and family to help ease the week’s stress. Also, a little retail therapy does me good!
What takes most of your time every day?
Administrative duties and daily responsibilities are definitely time consuming, however I don’t allow them to interfere with the ongoing training and coaching of my team to provide the highest level of guest service.
How many employees do you have and what are their specialties?
I have a total of 25 employees: six massage therapists, three estheticians, four nail technicians, 10 salon stylists and two shampoo technicians.
What is your hiring process?
I partner with our recruiting director to identify and retain high potential associates that are imperative to our success. Every associate is a valued member of our team. After an initial phone interview, I follow up with a face-to-face meet and greet of the potential employee. I then evaluate the candidates’ technical level of experience. Technical skills are important, but passion and personality are a must! My employees HAVE to love what they do!
How do you evaluate employees?
Once an associate completes their orientation and on-boarding training, we conduct a 90-day review. Their guest retention rate, revenue and retail sales and customer feedback reports are key performance indicators. I evaluate my team daily, weekly and monthly based on their tenure. What makes an employee stand out is having a “can do” attitude with an upbeat and positive outlook; going above and beyond just their day-to-day job duties.
How do you train your staff?
For new team members, I collaborate with my spa manager to ensure we schedule one-on-one time with them. They are then partnered with a tenured provider in their technical department. We train them on product knowledge and our signature treatments for at least two weeks. Before I put them on the spa schedule, I have them trial with our internal team members for various technical services. These team members then complete evaluation forms, which I use to follow up with our new team member regarding their strengths and specific areas of focus. For both our new and experienced team members, I schedule what we call “Moments of Service” evaluations as needed on a monthly basis. These evaluations consist of education refinement and feedback from customer reviews.
How do you keep your employees happy and incentivized?
I recognize my top retail and sales performer with a gift card in our monthly meeting. I also have monthly competitive incentives, team outings and celebrations for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays.
What are your retail goals?
I have a monthly spa retail goal of 11 percent, which we regularly meet or exceed. My goal for the year 2017 is to achieve at least 15 percent monthly.
What incentives do you have for your staff to reach these goals?
We have a tiered commission retail scale. The more you sell, the more you make. As recognition, we offer free spa services and gift cards, and play retail games with spa vendor representatives for gratis products to help us reach our monthly goals.
Where is the retail area located?
Our retail is located in the entrance of our spa lobby because this is the area that guests see when they enter and exit the spa. Our spa concierges are trained to educate and assist our guests with general product knowledge and are a great support to the spa team when closing sales.
Marketing & Publicity
What can you tell us about your marketing techniques?
We very specifically target guests of the hotel, residential guests and business clientele. We also do a lot of digital marketing and partnering with neighboring venues such as country clubs, other hotels and luxury home communities. Our internal marketing involves consistent website updating, monthly and seasonal email blasts and printed flyers and advertisements for various tradeshows we participate in.
Exceptional Client Care
How do you keep clients loyal and consistent?
We relate to each guest and personalize each experience to suit his or her specific needs. We strive to not only make an impression, but to follow up with each of our clients on a regular basis to make sure our treatments have properly benefited them. We also host quarterly events at the spa for our guests to win drawings, prizes and discounted services.
Tips For Spa Leaders
What advice could you give someone to someone who would like to manage a spa?
Be a good listener. Listen to the good, the bad and the ugly. Be flexible. Change is inevitable and we must embrace it. Be passionate. Educate yourself on wellness and the well-being of others. Be genuine. Create interpersonal relationships with your guests and employees. Finally, stay connected! Network and build relationships with other spa professionals, stay grounded and always strive to be better.
We want to hear from YOU!
Share your insider tips on running a successful practice with us, and you may be featured in an upcoming edition of Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa. Simply send an email to amanda@LNEonline.com (50 to 100 words). Together, let’s build a community one word at a time!